4|0 INBIAH CASTS. We arej therefore, justified in saying that in the genuine Veda there ^as BO mention of caste whatever ; nor -was it possible that there should be, on the hypothesis now to be advanced, thafc the institution of caste was the simple result of residence In a conquered country. This is confirmed by observing that in Kashmir, which was one of the original homes of the Aryan race, and also for many ages sacured by its position from foreign aggression, there is to- the present day no distinction of caste, but all Hindus are Brahmans. Thus, too. the following remarkable lines from the Mahabharat, which distinctly declare that in the beginning there was no caste division, but all men, as created by God, were Brahmans : — Ua visesho* sti TaraanSm, sarvam Brahmam idatn jagat, BiafamaoA purva srlsktam hi ,* karmabhir Yarnatlm gatam * At the time when the older Yedic hymns -were written, the Aryan was still in his primeval home and had not descended upon the plains of Hindustan. After the invasion, the conquerors naturally resigned all menial occupations to the aborigines, whom they had vanquished and partially dispossessed, and en- joyed the fruits of victory while prosecuting the congenial pursuits of arms or letters. For several years, or possibly generations, the invaders formed only a small garrison in a hostile country, and constant warfare necessitated the forma- tion of a permanent military bodya the ancestors of the modern Kshatriyas and Thakurs. The other part devoted themselves to the maintenance of the religions rites, which they brought with (hem from their trans-Himalayan home and the preservation of the sacred hymns and formula? used in the celebration of public worship. Of this mystic and unwritten lore, once familiar to all but now, through the exigency of circumstances, retained in the memory of only a few, these special families would soon become the sole depositories. The inter- val between, the two classes gradually widened, till the full-blown Brahman was developed, conscious of his superior and exclusive knowledge, and benfc upon asserting its prerogatives. The conquered aborigines were known by the name of Hagas or Mlechhas, or other contemptuous term, and formed the nucleus of all the low castes, whom Manu subsequently grouped together as Sudras, esteem- ing them little, if at all, higher than the brute creation. (Hastinas cha turan- gdscha Sudrd MlechcJikds cha garliitdh — Sinhd vydgjird vardhus cha. XII. 43.) f w There is no distinction of castes; the whole of this world is Brahmanical as originally created by Brabma; it is only in consequence of men's actions that it has come into a state of eagte divisions/* f « Keplianss, Worses, Sfciias, despicable barbarians, lions, tigers and boars."